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This user has been on an answering/editing spree for the past hour, and each and every answer/edit contains a paragraph along the lines of:

Check out the BIS web site at or call the help desk at 202-482-0707 if you want to discuss the particulars of your app.

Most of the suggested edits are easy calls for "invalid edit" since it attempts to comment on the post, but what about answers?

At a quick glance, some of the answers seem kinda legit (apart from the spammy paragraph).

What do?

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He is linking to a government website. Most unusual "spam". – hugomg Nov 9 '11 at 16:36
Unusual indeed hence this post. Had it been a from a normal source I'd flag/reject without hesitation. – Shawn Chin Nov 9 '11 at 16:39
Looks like the account has been temporarily suspended. – Shawn Chin Nov 9 '11 at 16:51
See my answer and the comments below. – Robert Harvey Nov 9 '11 at 16:54
Ahh.. I missed the last comment. That answers my curiosity as to whether he trigger an auto-suspension or if it was imposed by a mod. – Shawn Chin Nov 9 '11 at 16:58
The .gov website wasn't spam. I think this was a government employee that was just trying to be helpful. BIS is the US Bureau of Industry And Security, which is there to help people who have questions regarding export restrictions. – Tim Post Nov 9 '11 at 17:05
I agree, hence my cautious use of the term spam (in quotes). I know not how to deal with unusual behaviour from a legit organisation and so I turned to the wisdom Meta. I'm actually now feeling guilty over his suspension. Well, just a bit. – Shawn Chin Nov 9 '11 at 17:11
And if you go to the URL in his profile it times out. use instead (I am not affiliated with the BIS :) – agf Nov 9 '11 at 23:28
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I sent him a message. I didn't delete the answers, because they do appear to have some value, but I did ask him to add his affiliation to his profile and all of the answers he posted.

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Did your message mention the suggested edits which inserted the message into other people's answers? – Kevin Vermeer Nov 9 '11 at 16:40
@Kevin: No, it didn't. Feel free to reject those. – Robert Harvey Nov 9 '11 at 16:42
The suggested edits seemed like abuse that required (requires) a mod message. The answers were less of a problem than editing this "This is wrong, call me" disclaimer into other answers, if you ask me. – Kevin Vermeer Nov 9 '11 at 16:44
I agree with @KevinVermeer. I'm willing to ascribe this to a lack of understanding (that his content should have been posted as a fully-formed answer rather than as an edit to an existing answer; his rep is too low to comment) rather than abuse. Either way, he still needs to be aware. – Adam Robinson Nov 9 '11 at 16:47
@KevinVermeer: I sent him another message about the suggested edits, and suspended his account for 7 days. I guess he'll have to wait that long to insert his affiliations. :P – Robert Harvey Nov 9 '11 at 16:48
I'm pretty sure it's a government employee that just didn't understand how things work. – Tim Post Nov 9 '11 at 17:03
Ouch, seven days? You're a hardcore pipe hittin' ... fella. – Won't Nov 9 '11 at 17:08
@Tim ahahahaha! The revenge of the citizen. – Pëkka Nov 9 '11 at 17:09
@Pekka Yeah, but export restrictions are super freaking hard to understand, and the person was adding valuable breadcrumbs (albeit in the wrong way). – Tim Post Nov 9 '11 at 17:10
@Tim: It's just 7 days. He probably won't even visit the site during that time. – Robert Harvey Nov 9 '11 at 17:11
@Tim I agree. I think 7 days is a bit much, this was clearly posted with helpful intentions. Maybe remove it if he reacts? – Pëkka Nov 9 '11 at 17:11
@Tim: I suspended for the suggested edits, not for the spamming. He was defacing existing posts with his message. – Robert Harvey Nov 9 '11 at 17:14
@RobertHarvey Yeah, that had to stop, and they didn't respond to my earlier comment. If they reply to the mod message, maybe we can get the guy on the phone and let them know how to do it properly. – Tim Post Nov 9 '11 at 17:17
@Robert ah, fair enough, hadn't seen those edits. – Pëkka Nov 9 '11 at 17:43

The website is authentic, and the number checks out, so he's hardly self promoting something.

Regardless, it appears out of place to me on SO ("spam").

Additionally, he's got his address set to, so I get the feeling he's only here to promote it :P

There's a chance he'll realise he's doing something wrong from his rejected edits, and stop doing so; otherwise there might be a need for a mod to send a polite reminder :P

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"Additionally, he's got his address set to, so I get the feeling he's only here to promote it " ... Mods asked him to add his affiliation to his profile. – kekekela Nov 9 '11 at 19:55
@eternalseptember: He'd already had it set that way before Robert contacted him. – Matt Nov 9 '11 at 21:15

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